1969 Daily Driver

dart19666

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How it began,
We were in the market for a new car since our family has 3 rugrats now and the Hyundai that the wife bought new 2005 is getting close to its last legs. Without her knowing I went and test drove all the new cars, even the new dart. NONE of them felt right with solenoids controlling steering, brakes, and throttle pedal. I just felt lost like a four wheeled computer. Its nice and all but just not what I am looking for. Then I came across a more door 1969 dart for sale on Craigslist. Went to take a look at it and drove it home. This car was built and sold in Los Angeles CA. The lady who bought it brand new drove it for 93,000 miles and was the only car she ever owned. She passed away and the car went into a trust while the family fought over the house crap. After five years One of the kids won and put this car up. I got it and this I present to you my new/old daily driver. It has a slant 6, 904, AC, power steering, and drum brakes. Most of you may not know but I work for Crower and that is a 50 mile round trip a day. I have never owned a slant 6 so this will be a steep learning curve. This will be an on going build as I drive. I have a 1967 4 door dart as a donor car. The 1967 has a great working AC and is way more mint than this car but it spent its whole life next to the ocean and is a rust bucket. Where the 1969 has not a speck of rust anywhere.

dart1.jpg
 

dart19666

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First things first. Upgrade the Ignition system. Now back in the 1990's before I could afford an MSD systems "for my street racing days" an old hot rodder showed me how to use an HEI to make a 12 volt ignition system. I could not find my old paper drawing of what wires went where so I googled it and was I shocked. This is something that is way more popular than I thought. But here is what I did. Went to the junkyard looking for a 1990 ford coil bracket, 1996-1999 chevy blazer module heatsink, and some plug ends. I got a new distributor at o'reilly's for a 1975 slant six dart, coil for a 1990 ford F150 with a 5.8, and a module for a 1977 chevy anything with a V8. Opened up the plug gap to 0.050" and ran one temp cooler plug. I also installed a 2 field 60 amp alternator.

dart2.jpg


dart3.jpg
 

dart19666

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Does it smoke the tires now,lol? I'm just joshing. It's nice to say goodbye to the points.

I tried but it just will not do it yet. I am in the middle of my four day testing valve lash settings. maybe after I get this thing to run a little better it might.
 

AJ/FormS

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.013/.023 hot did it for me.By hot I mean fully warmed up, and no rush to get the cover off. I know the book says ten and twenty, but mine ran like crap,set like that.
But by now you may have noticed that the valve stems like to wear ruts in the rocker arms making adjustments tricky. I take the proper sized feelers and cut them to a little less wide than the stems. Then they fit into the ruts, and makes adjustments quick and easy.
I set each cylinder separately and in the correct firing order,with the piston always at TDC compression. I marked my balancer at 120* intervals to make this easy.
 

Darter6

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Oh the Mopar Green.They must have bought tankers of the stuff.Nice find you lucky dog,I'm a big fan of the good'ol Slant 6.Change all the fluids,up grade the brakes and that thing will last you a life time.Have fun with it.
 

whitepunkonnitro

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Really nice ride!
All of my daily drivers are vintage Mopar. One that gets the most use is a 64 Dart with a 170 that has way over a million miles on it.
If you're new to the concept of driving one of these things every day, here are three tips you'll thank me for down the road.
Use Shell Rotella, or other Diesel type oil that has zinc in it.
Find and horde all the OLD condensers you can. New ones are hit and miss right out of the box.
Drill the main jet in your carb .003 to .005 over to compensate for the 10 percent ethanol pump gas.
Have fun with it and get ready to have a quickie conversation at every stoplight.
 

dostroupe

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After you adjust your valves, put HEI on it like mentioned above. I just put it in my duster and now it's a different car. And yes you can turn the wheel and make noise from a stop. Slantsixdan gives directions, follow them and you will not believe what a difference it makes.
 

cdnEHbody

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Really nice ride!
All of my daily drivers are vintage Mopar. One that gets the most use is a 64 Dart with a 170 that has way over a million miles on it.
If you're new to the concept of driving one of these things every day, here are three tips you'll thank me for down the road.
Use Shell Rotella, or other Diesel type oil that has zinc in it.
Find and horde all the OLD condensers you can. New ones are hit and miss right out of the box.
Drill the main jet in your carb .003 to .005 over to compensate for the 10 percent ethanol pump gas.
Have fun with it and get ready to have a quickie conversation at every stoplight.

Solid advice. Hei and one up on the main jet made a noticeable difference on pedal down. Obviously main jet did all of that. Quality parts like made in usa caps are worth the chase. Make sure the kickdown is set proper. Mine always shifted a bit early and i adjusted it properly finally. And house brand 5w40 diesel is always on sale. I always run that.
 

whitepunkonnitro

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Solid advice. Hei and one up on the main jet made a noticeable difference on pedal down. Obviously main jet did all of that. Quality parts like made in usa caps are worth the chase. Make sure the kickdown is set proper. Mine always shifted a bit early and i adjusted it properly finally. And house brand 5w40 diesel is always on sale. I always run that.
HEI is definitely not part of my plan. I've tested back to back every ignition you can name and unless your points ignition is badly out of tune, you'll see zero difference in performance.
The simplicity and rock solid reliability of points works for me.
 

dart19666

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After you adjust your valves, put HEI on it like mentioned above. I just put it in my duster and now it's a different car. And yes you can turn the wheel and make noise from a stop. Slantsixdan gives directions, follow them and you will not believe what a difference it makes.

Yeah those pics are are of mine already done.
 

dart19666

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Really nice ride!
All of my daily drivers are vintage Mopar. One that gets the most use is a 64 Dart with a 170 that has way over a million miles on it.
If you're new to the concept of driving one of these things every day, here are three tips you'll thank me for down the road.
Use Shell Rotella, or other Diesel type oil that has zinc in it.
Find and horde all the OLD condensers you can. New ones are hit and miss right out of the box.
Drill the main jet in your carb .003 to .005 over to compensate for the 10 percent ethanol pump gas.
Have fun with it and get ready to have a quickie conversation at every stoplight.

Thanks yeah I work as an engineer for Crower so I changed the oil before I even drove it home to Rotella 15w40 and a wix filter. I also dropped in some Lead additive in the gas. But that jet thing I need to do soon. Checking plugs it is on the lean side. I am putting a bung so I can install my wide band so I can get a real reading. I also have a 1967 donor car so I am going to use that car to make this one better.
 

Princess Valiant

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That is beyond cool, I think that is the 4 door version of my car. They seem to have been the same color and same everything except door count.

I daily drive a 68 dart 2 door and you are so correct in saying that new cars just don't cut it.

CIMG9739.jpg
 

Darter6

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I agree with you there Princess, everything we have is over 20. My wife jokes when we are out "Hit the button" then I put the key in the door.
 

nm9stheham

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I tried but it just will not do it yet.
Your tires are too wide LOL. Very nice.. I am jealous. Which size /6 do you have?
Let us know what you find when you see the AFR. Being lean on this low compression thing is not all that bad, and I find that plug readings with this new-fangled gas is a whole 'nother deal from it used to be. I 'spect you have that special oxygenated gas in that locale and it burns differently. (I guess it IS supposed to burn cleaner....)
 

dart19666

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Ok after testing setting of the valves "COLD" 0.009"-0.015" in. and 0.019"-0.025"ex. I have found a setting that works great for my engine. 0.012"in. and 0.023"ex. is the best setting cold. Every morning before my drive to Crower I would set the valves at 5am "Takes 10 minutes using EOIC which I have been doing since I saw it done at Landys shop many, many, many years ago" This way I had a constant base line of temp. Yes I know that people set them with it running but that gets oil everywhere and it just sucks. Tomorrow I am putting in my O2 bung and we will start reading that while I drive.
 

dart19666

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Your tires are too wide LOL. Very nice.. I am jealous. Which size /6 do you have?
Let us know what you find when you see the AFR. Being lean on this low compression thing is not all that bad, and I find that plug readings with this new-fangled gas is a whole 'nother deal from it used to be. I 'spect you have that special oxygenated gas in that locale and it burns differently. (I guess it IS supposed to burn cleaner....)

The fender says 225 and it has the longer hose between the head and water pump so My guess is 225. Looks OG and the owner's son said that her mom never changed it.
 

cam.man67

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From one daily driven 4-door to another...congratulations! By far my Dart has been the best car I've ever owned. My '68 gets about 8000 miles a year (with points still), and so far has been to about 15 states.

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GenLee1970

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Cool deal, man. Great score. There's something really cool about using these cars as intended for the seemingly mundane driving chores. It makes them less mundane and is such a treat to see my old mopar parked on a city street or shopping mall parking lot. I ditched my modern driver a few years ago for a 73 /6 Dart. To say it's a "daily" driver is not quite accurate, I've got a "late model" 1994 Ford van for work (I'm a painting contractor) , but the Dart takes me everywhere else after hours, rain, shine, or snow. Even took me 8,300 miles cross country last year without a hitch.
A few other points for making a reliable driver. I inspect or replace EVERYTHING that could leave me stuck: belts, hoses,vacuum hoses, brakes, lights, ignition, starter relay, ballast resistor, voltage regulator, water pump, etc, etc,etc. Don't overlook the less obvious like throttle return springs, and clips for your tranny linkage etc. I keep the known good take off parts in the trunk with a tool kit, some spare wire, electrical tape, butt connectors for making repairs, fluids, rags, latex gloves etc. Nothing ruins the novelty and enjoyment of an old driver like being stuck in a parking lot somewhere over something easily fixed but not having the stuff on hand to get it done. Also, go over any visible wiring for loose, dirty, corroded connections or cracked wiring,
Also, don't overlook the things that many fair weather only cars often get by without: working defrost/defogger and other HVAC features, working parking brake system, windshield washers and wipers etc. They will make thing more enjoyable as well as safe.
You're in California, so I won't get into the steps I use to guard against winter driving perils to the cars sheet metal.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the experience as much as I and others here have.

Al
 
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Alaskan_TA

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Cool to see another 4-door owner here & appreciating the car.

Bonus points for a green one.

I have 4 so far, one dark green with green interior, one gold with green interior & green vinyl top, one white with green interior & one light green with a black interior & gator top. I do love 4-doors & green too. :)
 

mbaird

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Good for you Shane! Its funny... Im sitting 20 ft from a new Acura NSX and 50 ft from 2 GT3s right now but I get more excited looking at your Moredoor survivor!

BTW... Thanks again for the rockin deal on those solid rollers! Cant wait to put them to use.
 
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